Hartford, Conn. – Senior forward Taylor Epley (Louisville, Ky.) scored a game-high 19 points to lead the visiting Williams College Ephs to an 80-60 win over the Trinity College Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's basketball action this evening in Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity falls to 8-5 with the loss in its league opener, while Williams, ranked No. 5 in the nation, improves to 11-1 overall and 1-0 in the NESCAC with its 11 consecutive victory.
Williams jumped out to an 11-1 lead in the first three minutes before layups by Trinity sophomore guard Jaquann Starks (Hartford, Conn.) and junior co-captain center George Papadeas (Athens, Greece) cut the Eph lead to six. Bantam junior co-captain forward Steve Spirou (Pelham, N.H.) made the score, 15-7, at the 12:37 mark of the first half, but a three-pointer by Williams junior center Ryan Kilcullen (Hingham, Mass.) pushed the visitors' lead back to double digits where it stayed for the rest of the contest.
Williams led, 43-22, at halftime and by as many as 25 in the second stanza, but an 8-2 Bantam run that included a pair of long balls by Starks and a put-back by rookie forward Ed Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y.) gave Trinity a glimmer of hope with the score, 60-41, in Williams' favor at the 13-minute mark. Spirou made a free throw two minutes later, but an Epley trey pushed the Eph advantage back above 20 points.
Starks and fellow sophomore Rick Naylor (Sudbury, Vt.) had 11 points apiece, while Starks also added four rebounds and three assists, while Ogundeko and Spirou grabbed seven rebounds each, and sophomore forward Shay Ajayi (Brooklyn, N.Y.) notched seven points, five rebounds, and two blocks for the Bantams. Senior tri-captain center Mike Mayer (Durham, N.C.) totaled 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists, while Kilcullen also scored 13 points for the Ephs. Trinity outrebounded Williams, 37-24, but committed 15 turnovers while forcing just seven. Williams shot 84 percent from the foul line (21-25).